I was a library frequenter in my school and college days. I even had a card to the New York Public Library which I put to good use over summer vacations. Now, every time I want to read a book, I either do so on my i-Pad or I end up buying it through Amazon. All of this changed when Maithil started going to our local library to study. Although I always knew that Hoboken had a public library, I guess I never realized how convenient it actually was. It’s small, old, and no-frills, but thus far they have had everything I’ve wanted to borrow.
I love to dance. Give me a good beat and you will see me bopping along. There are many occasions where I will spontaneously start dancing while cleaning/cooking, getting ready to go the gym, or while watching a dance/music related movie (um, Step Up, Pitch Perfect, anyone?). Now imagine dancing in the middle of your work day. The New York Times just published an article about lunchtime dance parties that are happening around the city. Some also include a boozy beverage. But the point is not to get wasted or even network for that matter. The main objective here is to take a break away from your desk, computer screens, mobile devices, meetings and just dance. Alcohol or not, these people have the right idea. Dancing is a form of exercise; exercise give you endorphins; endorphins make you happy. Thus, dancing, midday, will give you that boost of happiness that you need to get you through the rest of your work day/week. When you are happy and refreshed, you will be more productive at work. Well, here’s hoping.
Image: At Slate in the Flatiron district, courtesy of the New York Times.
Pancakes, waffles, omelets, most breakfast dishes are also perfect for dinner. One of the most common Indian breakfast dishes that my mother used to make for dinner is Batata Poha (pronounced: puhwa). The ingredients in this vary slightly based on region and household but the two staring ingredients are always the same: batata, meaning potato, and poha, meaning flattened, dry rice. As a kid, I would always try to take a few extra potato cubes when my mother was not looking. Our Gujarati version has a twist. It is spicy and tangy but not overly sweet. My mother omits the sugar completely while I like to add just a hint of it to brighten the other flavors. This tasty dish is filling, easy to make, and always comforting. More
Do you ever have days when you just cannot figure out what to make for dinner? Last night, I knew I wanted something spicy and cheesy for dinner but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. I had spinach wraps, baby bella mushrooms, jalapenos, and Monterey Jack cheese with jalapenos in my fridge so quesadillas were the obvious choice. I sauteed the mushrooms with freshly ground toasted cumin to bring out their earthy flavors and to compliment the heat from the jalapenos. It’s a subtle, warm touch that brightens the whole dish. These crunchy creations would be great any time of the day, as a meal or a snack. More
All time consuming meals are complicated to create. I love proving this common misconception wrong whenever possible. The amount of time that it takes to prep and cook a meal is not always directly correlated to its level of difficulty. Case in point: Baked Polenta with Tomato, Basil, and Pecorino. The whole thing comes together in about an hour and fifteen minutes. Now, don’t get scared and stop reading! Most of the work is done by your oven while you get all the praise. And the sauce… I can see myself using the versatile, intensely flavorful sauce in pasta or over stuffed veggies. The dish pair beautifully with a glass of crisp white wine and a movie. More
Over the weekend, while getting in some cardio at the gym, I realized that I tend to stay on my cardio machine for a longer period of time when something fun and slightly juicy is on the monitor in front of me. Just when my body starts to wimp out, I tell myself, “Keep going until the next commercial or don’t stop now, the show is almost over!” Try it, it does the trick every time. Lately, E! has been showing “Sex and the City,” the movie, and regardless of how many times I see it, I do not seem to tire of the gorgeous fashion, the drama, and the incredible story of friendship between four friends. It has turned into a gym guilty pleasure (though I believe “You’ve Got Mail” and “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” would also work just as well). Do you have a movie that you can watch over and over? A romantic comedy, drama, thriller?
Do you read when you are a passenger on a plane, train, or car? I almost always read when taking the subway. The Economist on my iPhone seems to be my publication of choice recently. Most of my reads tend be on paper rather than a gadget. Now that I think about it, I much prefer reading The Economist in its true magazine form, though my iPhone does come in handy when I forget to pack a hard-copy. I am always curious to see what others are reading on the subway; I always see the most scandalous and juicy reads in the summer. For that reason alone, I love scrolling through the Underground New York Public Library. Creator Ourit Ben-Haim takes pictures of people reading on the NYC subway and provides links to purchase or borrow the book. Looking for your next read? UNYPL is sure to provide you some worthwhile suggestions.
All images are from UNYPL.
Decadent, creamy, heavenly… No words can justly describe a delectable spoonful of Nielsen’s Frozen Custard. Maithil’s friend took us to this laid-back, old-fashioned frozen custard shoppe in Vienna, Virginia for a mid-afternoon treat during our recent visit to the D.C. area. The menu offers several concoctions in the form of custard sandwiches, concretes (similar to a McFlurry or a Dairy Queen Blizzard), or a straight-up large scoop in a cup or a cone. Maithil and I shared a cup of the flavor of the day, Oreo, topped with almonds and walnuts. Smooth and not-too-sweet (and not-too-cheap), it was better than any frozen yogurt or ice cream I had ever had. Plus, a board behind the counter stated that it has less fat than ice cream, which only adds to its amazing factor. The only downsides are that they are not open on Sundays and they do not have a location in NYC or NJ, just one other in Las Vegas. If only I could have brought home a quart full. Just thinking about it is making my mouth water.
Address: Nielsen’s Frozen Custard, 144 Church St NW, Vienna, VA 22180
During our trip to L.A., Maithil and I drove out to San Diego for about 30 hours. The hour and a half drive, with the rolling hills as the backdrop, brought us to a place with perfect year-round temperatures and a very relaxed pace of life. Nobody that we met was in a hurry to get anywhere. We maximized our time by driving to the different parts of town and strolling around, just taking in the fresh air and the mild breeze. When it came to food, San Diego was very vegetarian/vegan friendly, with plenty of options everywhere that we went. More
It is no secret that Taim is my favorite falafel spot in NY. My allegiance had led me to its sit-down sister restaurant, Balaboosta in Nolita; I had always been curious about their other meals after having visited them for a fantastic brunch. I finally had a chance to try their Middle-Eastern/Mediterranean dinner fare this weekend when Maithil and I met up with our close family friends. Chef Einat Admony’s warm, family-photo filled quarters and dishes have all of the comforts of home, as if they were created by a “perfect housewife” (the definition of Balaboosta in Yiddish). The carnivores at the table were delighted with their tender, well-cooked meats, all of which had a balanced interplay of textures and spices. There was no shortage of flavors in any of the dishes. The table favorite was undoubtedly my (surprise) birthday dessert, the Hazelnut Chocolate Mouse – velvety smooth mouse with a bottom layer of crushed, packed cornflakes with nutella and chocolate, topped with a nut brittle and piece of dark chocolate. The icing on the meal was the impeccable service provided by our charming host, Marvin, who made the decision heavy ordering process seamless. More